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tv   Mc Laughlin Group  PBS  August 20, 2010 7:30pm-8:00pm PST

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from washington, the mclaughlin group. the american original. for over two decades, the if. for such a small word it packs a wallop. if i live to a hundred. if social security isn't enough. if my heart gets broken. if she says yes. we believe if should never hold you back. if should be managed with a plan that builds on what you already have. together we can create a personal safety net, a launching pad, for all those brilliant ifs
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in the middle of life. you can call on our expertise and get guarantees for the if in life. after all, we're metlife. guarantees for the in life. issue one, mosque madness. >> the answer is no regret. >> on almost the eve of the 9th anniversary of the september 11 atrocities, president obama is satisfied with his ance on the islamic mosque and cultural centreligio this country. [ applause ] that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower manhattan. >> a consensus of new yorkers
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are opposed to the idea and increasingly so. month and a half ago, july 1, 52% of new yorkers opposed the mosque. august 18, 2010. 63% of new yorkers oppose the mosque. even obama's fellow democrats are distancing themselves from the president on this issue. the democratic senate majority leader, harry reid, issues this statement through his press secretary. quote, the first amendment protects freedom of religion. senator reid respects that and says the mosque should be built some place else. end quote. the man behind the mosque, abdul raul has made comments that caused an uproar, like this one. >> i wouldn't say that the united states deserved what happened, but the united states policies were an accessory to the crime that happened. >> despite the prepond
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backlash, some that had family members lost are not happy about the view. in addition to obama's citation of the constitutional right to profess one's religion as one chooses, the president also said this -- >> i will not comment on the wisdom of making a decision to put a mosque there. >> charlie wolf who lost his wife in the twin towers attacks still supports the proposed location for the mosque and the muslim cultural center. > his passions are because they want to blame all muslims fowan broad brush. >> question, why did president obama inject himself into the islamic cultural center controversy? pat. > it was the breaking of the fast of ramadan at night. the muslim community comes in, the leaders come in. he thought he aught to speak to it. >> who? >> president obama. >> he was scheduled to speak?
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>> he had an iftar at the white house. the president seems to be clueless. they have a constitutional right to be there. no one denied that but as a matter of immense passion and emotion. majority of the families of 9/11 said no, new yorkers were saying no. it's a blazing controversy and he stepped right into the middle of it without inking and the next morning he said well, i'm saying they can build there, but i'm not sure it's the wise thing to do. so he completely confused the issue and backtracked and left all these democrats hanging out there forced to answer a question, do you favor building the mosque as the president does? and they are in trouble because of this and quite frankly, i think john, it's adjusted just like the sergeant crowley thing. the president does not understand and is not in tune with the country. >> do you agree with that? >> i agree with what pat says up to a certain point. i think the president said the right things.
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sometimes saying the right things is not enough. and he did appear to be backtracking when he distinguished between the right to build and whether it was the wisdom. that disappointed his supporters and it really handed the critics a tool to go forward here to inject the president into this fight which is really one that the republicans are whipping up to try to inflame sentiment on the eve of elections and on the eve of the 9/11 election. this mosque was going along perfectly fine until people brought it up and saw political merit. it's an abandoned building that has been there for eight years. they are already holding prayer services in there. there is another mosque just blocks away which is headed by this imam that you referred to in the setup. and he has been there 30 years. he's been an add have emissary of the obama
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administration. he is a mystical people. they are not violent. this is an islamic cultural center and it has been distorted as a sort of mosque on hallowed ground and i think that if americans would just take a deep breath and think about what we stand for in terms of religious diversity and how we really were attacked by al-qaeda. we weren't attacked by the muslim religion. so i think this is a debate which has really gotten out of hand. >> what do you think? doesthat sum it all up? >> that sums up a lot of it. what i think the error here is, blaming all of islam for what 19 violent criminals did. that would be like blaming japanese americans for pearl harbor. these were coreligionists. we christians have a lot of coreligionists. we are not responsible for all of them. and that's the point here. this is an al-qaeda mosque. it's a muslim cultural center that includes a place of worship. it is two blocks and half a
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block away from ground zero among big buildings. it's not going to be very visible. it's a crazy issue to be getting upset about and the republicans aught to be focusing on the economic case against obama. >> what do you think about the rap against obama? on the one hand, he clarifies the legality of it. he says it's within. not only within, it is supported by the constitution. to practice your faith wherever you want. that doesn't mean on the judgment level, i would have chosen to put the mosque there. what is wrong with tha >> i was delighted to hear the president say private property for the first time. first time i have ever heard him defend something being done because it was private property. >> have you noted in any of your publications? did you encourage them to use it more? >> i don't believe i have done that. i did do that. i did mention that for mayor bloomberg who doesn't think you have a right to smoke on your private property, but does think you have a right to build a mosque. >> you think it's a bad rap on
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obama? it's untrue? the rap on obama. >> i think the rap is that he made an eloquent speech and backtracked the next day. >> he didn't backtrack. he clarified. it's not my wisdom that i were to put it there. >> the president speaks from a tell prompter. he shouldn't clarify. >> he's extending his remarks. he thought he could leave it there, why not? >> he could have left it there. >> he was attacked for saying he wants it there. he says no, i didn't say i want it there. >> he should have anticipated that and clarified in the first place. >> i don't agree with this criticism of him at all. i think it was clear, precise, and he did the right thing for the sake of the country on where we stand on religious freedom. >> i am going to be supportive of the construction of that mosque. >> really? >> in that location. i think freedom of religion -- >> really? >> fundamental precept to this country. but to get to the president,
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what he said when he spoke about that was clearly intended to imply they should be able to build the mosque there. you want to put it in constitutional terms and the next day clearly he got attacked by this. he just changed his mind in responds to whatever he thought the public reaction was. >> he didn't change his mind. >> he was implying it was unwise now to build the mosque there. now this is not what i would call -- i would call it a profile. not courage. and i think -- >> a speech that some of these forums? >> yes, i have. >> it's not that you accommodate the truth, but you want to make clear where the public stands on this, including the president of the united states. it is guaranteed by the constitution. >> why does he have to get into that? > let me ask you this. would it be right to build a shrine on ford island in pearl harbor two blocks from the
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arizona? that would be an outrageously stupid thing to do. >> that's different. >> let eleanor in. >> if there were a burlingtom factory and sex shop and otĂșer buildings all jammed around, maybe it wouldn't be so different. new york real estate is not like out in peril harbor where that would probably -- >> it's two blocks from sacred ground. >> no one is implying to do that. they don't want to do that. >> there's a huge difference, okay. pearl harbor was an attack by a country. here, if you are concerned about radical islamists, this is not an attack by the whole muslim nation. >> the name of islam. >> some parts of islam. >> a clear preponderance of new yorkers don't like the mosque there. >> overwelmingly. >> do you think the international community, the media around the world. there's a billion and a half muslims in the world. you know it's a big story. do you think looking at the
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fact that he okay's it in a uense, do you think the very presence of a mosque there speaks well of the united states to let it go there? >> absolutely. i do. >> despite the fact of the horror and the pain and the suffering of ground zero? >> john, that's not my rational. although i happen to support that point. this country, what's founded, if there was a great principle, it was freedom of religion. >> would you put that next to these remnants of pearl harbor? >> eleanor said if you had densely packed buildings all around a large site and you have to go two blocks and d a block over, then nobody is going to notice it. it's not like you are putting it over ground zero. >> are you saying the proximity and seeing ground zero from the site, you can't see it i don't think. >> you can't see it, but even if you could, islam did not attack the world trade center. some radicallists did. >> obama has to think of the
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whole field of vision. he went to cairo and gave a speech to cairo. he is not speaking as a free agent. >> exactly right. you're thinking about abroad. what about the sentiments of the american people here? we were attacked by people in the name of islam. they were muslims. that was indispensable to the deed they did and to their identity. everybody knows that. >> the nations have all associated from reaction of these -- >> why are you pushing these killers? why not move it? why? >> formerly and officially. >> why not move the mosque? why are you insisting on that? >> at the pentagon -- >> why are you insisting on that? >> at the pentagon, there's a room 30 steps from ere they were attacked and islam prayer service is being held there. nobody got worked up about it. the politicians, newt gingrich,
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sarah palin and people running for office in new york have grabbed on to this and distorted it. made it sound as though -- >> terri reid says move it. >> let her finish. >> they have portrayed this as you put it, putting it right in the world trade center. >> would you object in the world trade center? >> you are asking -- he's a libertarian, okay? [ inaudible ] > exit question. will obama's view on the mosque, his expressed view haunt him in future elections? >> it's going to hurt him, just like the crawly thing. >> it's already hurting him. >> he's at 41% and falling. >> how do you know this might help him? >> help with who? >> you know, those who belove in our constitution and are proud of the fact that we are able to withstand it. >> it's not a constitutional question. hamas endorsed it. why? >> because they can put it
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where they want. >> they can put it, but should they? >> obama made that clear. >> they can do it, but should they? >> he also said it's a bloomberg problem. mayor of new york is behind the mosquecity says no. >> what did he say? >> he said, but what the clear implication of what he said at the dinner is that they should go ahead with it. >> who said? bloomberg? >> no, what obama said. >> all right. bloomberg support him. the first night. >> he said i don't have a problem? >> bloomberg -- >> i support it completely an my newspaper supports it completely. what i think of the president -- >> it was injudicious. >> he spoke in front of the statue of liberty and the kind of heated passion that you're hearing from pat buchanan is going to eventually go back on the republican party. they are way over done on this.
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the country says you got it. >> right now. right now. heheing about it. >> i want to finish my thought. you've got burning set for 9/11. you have people protesting about mosques around the country. this is dangerous stuff. we don't want to be at war with islam. as national security implications just try to win an election. take this to the shameful territory. no, it is not. it's with the politicians who distorted this issue for political purposes. >> quickly, david, what's your answer? >> we don't let political majorities decide where churches can be built. it's true that there's a majority against this, but that's why we have private property and religious freedom guaranteed in the constitution. >> is this going to haunt obama in future elections? >> no, people are going to forget about it? >> no, i think it will haunt him because it revealed something about obama that the country does not like. >> what is that?
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>> obama taught constitutional law. he is a teacher. he's a teacher. his problem is he has an obligation to teach the country. >> he didn't teach newt gingrich. >> the horrors of 9/11 to think that this is going to diminish the constitutional freedom. >> the problem is he's a professor. >> a problem? now you are knocking the academic community. the issue two, iraq exit. >> by the end of this month, we'll have brought more than 90,000 of our troops home from iraq since i took office. >> commander in chief obama's draw down of u.s. forces is on schedule. 90,000 combat troops will have left iraq within two weeks from now. 50,000 noncombat troops will
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remain in iraq. that's 50,000. their function will be to advise and assist iraqi forces until the end of 2011. one year and three months from now. some refresher history. seven years have passed since the united states invaded iraq. then ruled by saddam hussein. during these seven years, the u.s. military suffered more than 4,400 plus deathings. the u.s. dollar amount that has been funneled into iraq over the span of seven years totals more than $620 billion plus. the troop extraction is a plus for the u.s. but there are minuses. no cohesive iraq central government now in place five months after iraq's national elections held in march this year. meanwhile, al-qaeda has been in iraq for the last seven years. and iraqis that were earlier on our site shift to al-qaeda. al-qaeda is buying its iraqi
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recruits. military officials stated in august that u.s. troops will be needed for a decade to stabilize the nation. though they stay until 2020. despite these negatives, u.s. commander general in iraq, ray odierno remains optimistic about the impact of the 90,000 troop withdrawal. >> i think if we get k overall stability will improve in the region. >> question, is president obama's withdrawal of the 2/3 in iraq premature? i ask you david. >> premature? we've been there seven years. we are still going to leave 50,000 troops in a war torn country that is getting more violent. i don't think this is premature. i think this president's whole argument for getting elected is against this war in the beginning. i'm against it now and i will bring the troops home in 2009. well it's 2009 and it turns out we are leaving 50,000 troops behind and increasingly dangerous country. so no, i don't think thisof tro
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>> i think david is exactly right. i'll tell you one thing, though. we are out of this war. no we're not and the war is not over, john. the casualties of iraqis in june were the highest level in two years. i think americans are out of combat, but that place could fall apart. i think the 50,000 troops are going to be there a lot longer than 2011. i think they are going to have to renegotiate that. they have no government in there. he is the king maker. that place is not resolved. >> you want to think the fact that the troops left our combat troops that they are trained in combat? >> the troops left behind, they are trained as well? >> they are trainers. >> trainee training others. they are ready for combat. >> we are sending in more mercenaries. >> right. and they are -- [ inaudible ] >> they may be sent in there
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with the other troops. >> the fact is you don't have a government, you have a shia, sunni conflict. if we withdraw prematurely, we may have another breakup in that country in which iran will control the southern part, the shia population. >> you think being wees l weezel? and are trained for combat? >> they are indistinguishable from the other troops. they are noncombat troops, which means that is dedicated for combat. >> they are not being sent. they will defend themselves, but that's as far as it goes. they will be using them to train. >> who says there's an emergency of some kind? >> they are not forward leaning combat troops, but if the president left them there unarmed, what would we be saying about him? the president deserves credit. is this a promise kept. it is an uncertain future and leaving that force behind also,
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the largest embassy in the world is in iraq. we still have a vested interest in that country and trying to see if it can have a stable future. >> do you think it will take a generation, not three to four years, but a generation before iraq stabilizes? >> if it does. >> right now issue three, democrats bail. >> we're on the right track. the economy is getting stronger. >> well mr. president, let's take a look. polls this week. overall disapproval, barack obama, 50%. overall approval 42%. now the economy. handling of the economy approved 41%. disapproved 56%.
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unemployment rate 9.5%. unemployment claims 500,000 of 12,000 claims. the highest since mid november '09. nine months ago. economy growth rate 2.4%. double dip recession survey of corporate financial officer cfo sample. yes, 38%. up from 33% in mid may. midterm elections just 11 weeks away. uncomfortable economic outlook falling presidential poll numbers. these may turn the democrats ace campaign party leader, barack obama into a drag. also this twist. >> he could have a negative impact because he energizes republicans probably more than he does democrats. >> democrats are feeling the heat despite nonstop campaigning and fund raising by president obama, some democrats have decided to keep him at arm's length. georgia democrat roy barnes is currently seeking to reclaim
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the governorship. barnes claims scheduling conflicts during the president's georgia trip. now answering to voters, democrats in congress are now rethinking their once steadfast support of the president's legislative agenda which will be front and center when congress gets back to town in three short weeks. >> question, what do you want to pick out of that, mort, on the economy? >> the economy is weaker than anyone anticipated. we are 2 1/2 years into the stimulous and it is going to be at obama's doorstep because he's the president. the unemployment numbers are much worse that night 9.5%. the consumer is weak. housing is falling off the edge of the cliff. there is concern that we are going to head, if not into a double dip recession, we are not coming out of the recession and that means there's going to be a huge dissatisfaction. the economy and jobs. >> are you saying a double dip yourself? >> i think we will have a modest double dip. it will go down 1 or 2 percent.
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>> will the recovery begin before the end of '11? >> before the end of '11? possibly. >> are you predicting that? >> i'm predicting it's going to last longer than that. >> 500,000 jobless claims, it looks like unemployment may raise in october and november and everybody was looking for things. look, obama is not only in trouble, the country is in serious trouble. >> what happened to the recovery? >> it was an inventory buildup because everyone thought the consumer sales would be stronger. now you have the federal and state government, $200 billion a year. that's falling apart. the stimulous -- >> full recovery? >> that's exactly right. is that what you think? >> it was definitely a foe revery. there was cash for computers, trying to bribe people to buy things, but that runs out and now you have this huge deficit that is a burden on the
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economy. i don't anticipate a recovery. the economy is strong, but it may not be strong enough to survive this. >> why so little of the tarp funds and the stimulous money been spent? so little of it. >> it's hard. >> 1/3 is left. >> a lot left. >> of what? the top or stimulous? >> john, he's run out of tools in the tool box. he used every one. >> what about these -- >> there aren't anymore. left. they are down the road. >> how about letting another voice in here. in a market oriented society, the number of -- i don't know what's so funny about that. >> quickly. >> the society, the tools that a president has are limited and the republicans are blocking what few tools he has. they are blocking legislation that would help small business and in truth, when he took over, we didn't know if the banking system would survive. we didn't know if we would have an automobile industry. we have gm thriving and we have
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wall street doing fine. the benefits have not made it down to ordinary people. he needs more time for that. >> five seconds. when will his recovery kick in? >> i don't believe you can predict that sort of thing. we are predictions, pat. >> fitzgerald should not retry blago, but he will. >> newly released corporate money and money raised by outside groups are going to give the republicans a huge fund raising advantage going into the november elections. >> david. >> in kentucky, the democrats recalling ran paul an extremist. in the end, voters will be more scared of a democrat. >> in kentucky? >> in kentucky. the high unemployment numbers are going to put pressure on the service members in america and get their pensions reduced and the long-
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term costs of those people off the books of this. >> prediction, rod blagojevich will walk. bye bye.
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